Friday, November 08, 2002

Exercise -- Every Man For Himself

You need to do this, no matter how fit you are. Go to a nursing home. Sadly they have the worst security in the world, so you can pretty much stroll right in. Tell them, if they ask, that you wanted to find about about volunteering there once a week to read to seniors. They will be so flabbergasted, since no one ever volunteers, they'll let you right in.

Okay, look around. Notice the overweight folks with heart conditions, strokes, every other ailment. Smokers, don't miss the ones with lung cancer -- opps, they aren't in nursing homes, they die too fast to get there -- try spending time with the emphysemics instead. Don't miss the ones with diabetes, no circulation to the legs, really hanging on by a thread some of them. It's a rough place to visit.

Get outside. If you're between 40 and 55 remember this is nothing compared to what your baby boomer generation faces. These current senior citizens have Medicare, pensions, retirement savings, friends, relatives, families, wives. Baby boomers won't fare so well. Have I terrified you enough yet?

Go for a walk. Today. Go for a walk tomorrow. Decide you'll go for a walk every day for the rest of your life. Start thinking seriously about putting exercise into your life. Start walking the stairs at work, in parking structures, at airports, everywhere you see stairs, THANK GOD for them.

Chances are it really will be "every man and woman for him/herself" when our generation hits retirement age with heathcare resources stretched thin. Being fit over a lifetime makes a difference. Even if you're not fit now, you can be in a year and it will make a tremendous difference in your life.